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The Most Iconic Pole Event of the Year – Pole Icon 2023

The Most Iconic Pole Event of the Year – Pole Icon 2023
Fast becoming the night of nights on the Australian pole dancing scene is none other than Pole Icon, and in its second year running it did not disappoint. Razzle, dazzle, drag and dance – the audience were flying by the seat of their pants, and oh my pole gods did we LOVE it.

If you missed this huge pole event, we know you have massive FOMO (we totally would too). So, here it is – the recap you have all been waiting for...


Welcome to the circus
You might have been fooled into thinking it was just another Saturday night at Sydney’s renowned Luna Park. It all seemed business and fairy floss as usual, walking through the giant mouth entrance. The rides were in full swing and screams of children filled the air. But alas, turn a corner to the Big Top theatre and what do we see...
Wings as large as the night sky, with smiles that sparkle like the stars. Colourful pole wear, 8-inch boots and luscious hair. No, not Victoria’s Secret angels. Babe there’s a new angel in town – AMBR Angels!

Audience members were being greeted by bad-ass pole dancing angels wearing killer pole outfits as they arrived at the Big Top. It was amazing!
After boosting the economy by shopping at our favourite pole brand stalls and buying questionably priced drinks, it was time to take a seat. Excitement filled the air and whispers were shared about who spotted a pole-ebrity in the foyer. Suddenly, the lights dimmed and the iconic voice of the one and only
Maxi Shield rang through the crowd.
It was time – the show was about to begin. Lights, leather, action!
Act 1 – Pleather, prayers and a lip sync assassin
Opening Pole Icon was Sophiya – a queer, bilingual rap artist and producer from our own backyard of Sydney, Australia. The crowd was instantly in love. She was a powerhouse with delicious beats and an attitude to match. We instantly adopted her into the pole world and saved her album to our Spotify playlist.
The opening cast were as iconic as the competitors themselves! There were kicks, many grinds, even more splits, commercial dance, and those who could bend in ways we can’t imagine. The reigning king of Pole Icon, Adam Lin, whipped out some wild tricks and guest performer Louis Sue, showed us how to
light up a stage. The spreadie circus had entered the Big Top ladies and gentlemen and it was fabulous!
After the opening show, we were reacquainted with our favourite MC duo – Chilli Rox and Maxi Shield. If that wasn’t great enough, we also had drag race superstars Spankie Jackzon, Kween Kong and Hannah Conda in the house. The judges, Felix Cane, Adam Lin, Louis Sue and Kween Kong, settled in their seats
and after some outrageous banter between Chilli and The BABZ, the first competitor took the stage.
It was Chelle who stepped out onto the stage first and performed with a live guitar! Her strength, control and beauty was amazing to watch. Coco followed with a dreamy, underwater piece which captivated us with pole shapes and legs for days. I’m sure every pole dancer watching muttered something like “ooh I want to learn that” during that show.
Next to take the stage was Natty Stephens, who had us all sweating nervously with her Squid Games theme. She started with her famous elbow stand and paused literally MID-TRICK in her pole combos!
Her show hit massive energy and dynamic tricks, leaving our jaws on the floor.
Just when we thought we could pick them back up, Lola Grace entered the stage. It’s clear why she’s a world champion of exotic flow – her fluidity, stage presence and lines left our hearts burning for more!
Next up was Camille. Ah, Camille you goddess! Her killer routine had a mobster’s wife storyline that brought the gun show in powerful tricks, flexibility and of course, gun props. What. A. Boss!
Pole duo, Caroline Cazcapstar and Jess B followed. Babe, if you were looking for your abs you were about to find them – by laughing so hard at this wild show. Two wrongs don’t make a right and apparently neither do two nuns! In this performance we met Jesus himself, Caroline performed an aerial
Jade Split off Jess's arm(!), and we realised that no amount of Holy Water could save us after watching that. Bless us all!
Next up was a pole OG – Carlie Hunter. Famous across the globe for bringing characters like Granny Clementine and Carlos to life, it was incredible to watch her onstage again. She amazed us with a beautiful contemporary piece and included a flying pole in her performance. It was breathtaking!
The current Miss Pole Dance Australia, Kym Chia, followed and WOW – she came to slay! It was a powerful performance showcasing strength, flexibility, cool kips and a character that commanded the stage. We saw a flawless Rainbow Marchenko and were quickly reminded why she’s the current MPDA
champion. Jacob followed and was divine as always with a lyrical ‘prayer’ piece for his loved ones. The strength, poise and grace he performs with is like no other. It was glorious to see him shine.
Closing the first half of Pole Icon was the beautiful Bailey Hart. In Maxi’s words she is “original recipe Kentucky fried chicken”. Bailey has been pole dancing on our stages for almost as long as Chilli has been doing nudie runs across them. This show was a cover of the Chicago hit ‘Roxie’ but instead of the original
track, it was Bailey singing! It was her own rendition (with pole specific lyrics) and she lip-synced all of it while performing her routine. What a star!
It was time for intermission and after a quick top up of drinks, catch up with friends and sneaky shop at the ShoeMe and AMBR stalls, we took our seats ready to dive stiletto first into the second half.

Buckle up honey, you’re in for a ride!
Act 2 – Sass, a$$ and a surprise announcement
Opening the second half were Drag Race Down Under superstars Spankie Jackzon, Kween Kong and Hannah Conda. The BABZ slayed the stage with TWO epic shows. Their dance, sync and style served up sass like no other and left the crowd gob-SPANKED. What a treat!
Suzie Q and Toby J were first for the competitors, showing us why they have been icons in the industry for so long. Just when we thought their playful performance couldn’t get any better, Suzie casually does a handstand on Toby’s shoulders, and he walks with her balancing like that from one pole to the next!
Holy handstand! Next, we had Katy Eve who mesmerized us with a classique show. Giving us splits and hair flicks for days, we were in awe. And would it be a Katy Eve show if she didn’t roll around in silk sheets and rose petals? Of course not!
Gracie was next, showing us why her choreography and style of dance is iconic in itself. She performed a high-energy routine and because pole isn’t challenging enough, why not do a Fonji in brilliant, tasseled pants?! Flowers, fans, frills – this woman had it all! The next competitor was Lennox Moon and it was a
total show from the first beat. This routine was brimming with flexy pole tricks (hello, Spatchcock!) and had a mid-performance costume change which would make Kylie Minogue jealous.
Next to take the stage was 2 x Miss Pole Dance Australia and International Pole Champion, Miss Filly.
She placed second at Pole Icon in 2022 and it was hard to imagine how she was going to top last year's performance. As pink fabric flowed from the trusses, a Queen classic starts to play as Miss Filly tries to
find ‘Somebody To Love’. In a beautiful silk robe and sparkly costume, she whips out a few Fonjis, some seamless base work and makes challenging pole dancing combos look like a walk in the park. Absolutely incredible.
All the way from Perth we had pole trio Mel Grace, London and Ruby hit the stage. In thigh-high red boots they dazzled us with a Charlie’s Angels themed show, including pole tricks, dance and even a fight scene. After that performance, if Charlie no longer needs them, we’ll accept these beauties into the
AMBR Angels crew!
Mischka was next and oh my, it was love at first booty. What a peach, but more importantly, what a performance! Her strength, dynamic tricks and emotion never disappoints, and this show left nothing behind. In a gorgeous red outfit, leaning against a make-shift bar, she told us a story of unrequited love. So many feels! It was captivating.
Following was Bethany Finlay with a creepy show about two crazy circus performers. By the end of this routine, the audience was crazy – for Beth! In true style, there were tumbles, acrobatic tricks and a
backflip onto the pole!
Unfortunately, this year we didn’t get to see Maddie Sparkle perform, who has earned every right to be on the Pole Icon stage but sadly her body had other ideas. We hope to see her back in action again very soon!
The last competitor of the evening was Miss Sang and we were in for a surprise! She gave face dancing to ‘Vogue’ by Madonna, with three back up dancers who served it up just as hard. It quickly became obvious it was more than just a performance as Miss Sang announced her pregnancy mid-show, cradling
her beautiful bump. It was spectacular, and a fierce dance performance we’ll never forget.
The judges had such a tough job on their hands. As they deliberated, Caleb Jago-Ward performed a Queen hit for us as we watched reigning Pole Icon, Adam Lin perform alongside the newly appointed Hall of Fame winner, ‘Dame’ Felix Cane. Adam Lin showcased incredible tumbles and dynamic static pole
tricks, and Felix Cane graced the stage with one of her pole creations – the iconic Spatchcock. Watching Felix and Adam perform together gave us a heart-warming glimpse back to the roots of Australian pole,
all while showing us the path forward to the future. It was magical.
It’s time to crown the new Pole Icon
And just like that, Pole Icon 2023 had come to an end. Our pole hearts were full after watching a wonderful night showcasing skill, athleticism, flexibility, dance and showmanship. As amazing as they are onstage, many of the competitors are industry pioneers who have contributed to creating and building the Australian pole scene we love today. It’s because of this passion, both onstage and off the
stage, we believe they are all truly iconic.
And if it wasn’t for the jade-splitting, two-finger smiling, woman behind it all, Chilli Rox, we wouldn’t have this amazing event. She hustles like no other to put on an event bursting with superstar judges, guest performers, sponsors and competitors. It’s thanks to Chilli, Lulu L’Amour and their team that we
can celebrate the Aussie pole industry on such a grand scale.
Now for the sashies. Excitement filled the air as the special category awards were announced:

• ‘Spankie Would’ – Mel Grace, Ruby and London
• Tricks Icon – Camille
• Dance Icon – Miss Sang
• Show Icon – Natty Stephens
• Peoples Icon – Bailey Hart
And for the moment we had been waiting for – who will be our Pole Icon for 2023? We held our breath as the placings were announced...

• Second Runner Up (tied) – Bailey Hart & Lennox Moon
• First Runner Up – Mischka
• Pole Icon 2023 Winner – Miss Filly
The audience went wild! It was no surprise that Miss Filly would be crowned the new Pole Icon of 2023 with such a flawless show. She held her own onstage and kept us fascinated from start to finish. Miss Filly has certainly set the bar high for next year’s competitors!
We left the Big Top in love with our amazing pole industry all over again. The businesses who came together to sponsor the event, the audience members who flew in from all over Australia, the calibre of performers and entertainers for the night. And most importantly, the competitors who amongst juggling
pole studios and students, muggle jobs, motherhood, and life’s other plans, continue to show us how to show up. How to work hard but laugh harder, train hard but shine brighter, and in each of their own ways, what it truly means to be a Pole Icon.



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